Thursday, August 31

Chivalry on the Metro

I fought my way to the only open seat during rush hour and then felt my lower lip spontaneously protrude as another woman slid right in just before me. Sigh. Such is the life of the public transportation commuter. When the man next to her stood up, she joked, "You don't have to get up; we can both sit here!"

His response was surprising. "No, Ma'am. Not when there's a lady who's standing." He then turned to me and offered his seat, "Ma'am?"

I can't remember the last time I was referred to as Ma'am, especially by someone older than me. When I last checked, I didn't think I looked like a senior citizen, nor was I pregnant (unless the Baskin Robbins bulge of my belly counts). Usually, being handicapped by living a stylishly painful life in heels is not enough to warrant my bootiliciousness coming in contact with a Metro seat. In the slightest state of shock, however, I thanked him and planted my rump.

The lady whose seat I originally coveted observantly stated, "You must not be from here."

"No, Ma'am. But I would still give up my seat for a lady if I lived here."

"That wouldn't last very long."

"Yes, Ma'am, it would. My mama would come find me if I didn't mind my manners."

His fellow visiting companions laughed that, "You just about gave these women a heart attack! You're going to be the talk of the water cooler when they get to work!"

I repeated my thanks, to which he responded, "You just tell them that a Lousiana [he named some animal which I can't remember] showed you some Southern hospitality!"

Then the group proceeded to debate whether or not DC/Maryland/Virginia is considered part of the South, considering their relation to the Mason Dixon line. And then they had another conversation about "Y'all" and some other state that says "Y'allses" or something like that.

Southern gentleman chivalry is something I didn't get to experience in California - that's for sure!

Saturday, August 26

A Picture Share!

I took my first painting class. A true artist probably does not share incomplete works, but i am a mere beginner. It's so fun! I want to take photography next.

Tuesday, August 22

Sherry is my new best friend

In my endless quest to find Fernet Branca in DC, I decided to give up on the bars (for now). The liquor stores were my next target. I was told Sherry's Liquors carried everything. EVERYthing? Hmmm, I was doubtful, but I decided to check it out anyway...

me: Excuse me, do you carry Fernet?

guy behind the counter: What?

me (dejected): It's an Italian digestif. Never mind.

guy behind the counter: Wait, what does the bottle look like?

me (trying not to get my hopes up): It's in a green bottle, and people compare it to Llager, but without the sugar. It's gross, but it's SO GOOD!

guy no longer behind the counter, but in the aisles: Is it this?

THE HEAVENS SHONE DOWN ON ME, AND ANGELS SANG IN A HARMONIOUS CHORUS. HE WAS HOLDING A GLORIOUS BOTTLE OF FERNET!

Life is good, and I can survive in DC now. Praise Sherry's!

Monday, August 21

Friday, August 18

Before you move

We really should've pretended we were traveling for a couple weeks and just packed a suitcase (or three) of stuff we'd need. I was good about setting aside our toiletries - I'd be blind without my contact lens stuff, and a girl needs to be able to put on her face in the morning - but I figured we didn't have that much stuff, so we'd be fine with just fishing our way through everything else. I'm delusional.

Taer was rummaging through our mountains of boxes as he asked, "Where are my boxers?"

"I stuck them in a box." Duh. "I'm not sure if they're at the bottom of one of the wardrobes, or if I just stuck them in a regular box. I remember putting them with a bunch of your t-shirts."

Taer owns about 3,592 t-shirts. Not that I'm counting. After digging through box after box of t-shirts, we were still at a loss. But it also got me thinking about my own down-there status. "Let me know if you find my underwear too, please."

We might have to be the commando couple. Isn't that the name of some superheroes, maybe part of the Justice League?

Wednesday, August 16

A Picture Share!

Look at the things we are finding as we pack. This is not a cordless phone, people. It is an old school cell phone! I think it was considered small before.

Tuesday, August 15

The biggest purchase of my life

More good news to share...

WE GOT A HOUSE!

I've been stewing with this goodness for a few weeks now but was afraid of something going wrong. As of today, we have our new keys in hand, so I can finally share. It's a townhouse in Woodley Park, and it's the best one we saw, so I no longer care that we lost our bid in Dupont Circle. Yay! Our movers are coming on Thursday, so I've gotta continue packing (again!) and will relay more details later.

All I can say is that I truly believe that everything all works out in the end. We just have to wade through the icky stuff at times, but a little bit o ick helps us appreciate the yum. Yu-um!

Friday, August 11

Little discoveries

Now that we are finally together after four years of being 3,000 miles apart, we are finding out new things about one other. A few days of "honeymooning" once a month is very different from everyday living; it's been four months of the day-to-day stuff now.

I'm happy to report that I've found most of these discoveries quite charming. He enjoys a ridiculous amount of mustard on his sandwiches (and the meat in said sandwiches should be folded rather than laid flat). He's really good at maximizing the capacity of the dishwasher when he loads it. My constant reminders to use sunscreen over the years has actually worked; I notice him packing it when he golfs. And my favorite: the man can cook!

Some other discoveries are less than charming.

The man has gas. And a LOT of it!

Seriously, a little toot here and there is ok, but does he purposely go around swallowing air before he sees me? Is he chowing down a pound of beans for lunch everyday? I don't get it! According to Why Do Men Have Nipples, "A person produces about half a liter of farts a day.... Most people pass gas about fourteen times a day." Is this true? Am I the abnormal one? Even fourteen sounds like a lot to me, but there have been times that I swear he's "shared" fourteen with me over the course of a mere hour.

When I asked why he didn't seem so fartilicious before I moved here, he reported, "I used to hold it. That's how much I love you."

"Don't you still love me?"

"Yeah, but now you've got the ring. I'm all yours, babe!"

Aw, how romantic.

Wednesday, August 9

Take On Me and Push It (REAL Good)!


I wasn't sure why my brother would send me a site called "insuranceandnews" (now "http://www.thebestlegaladvice.com/"). But it turned out to be 80's videos! Click on in and blast your way to the funky fresh past!

Tuesday, August 8

Momzilla

For some reason, I had the notion in this noggin o mine that my little Korean mama, though cray-jee in other aspects of her life (and mine), would somehow be laid-back and unopinionated in the planning of our wedding. Silly me.

"Umma, I have exciting news! I went to this wedding event thing, and I found my dress!"

"Oh, you bought it already?" Uh, oh. She didn't sound happy. Maybe she's upset that she didn't get to go shopping with her only daughter to buy THE dress. I should probably offer to go shopping again with her back home. "... Because I was thinking about it, and I meant to tell you that I don't think you should get a strapless dress. You have wide shoulders, so something with a little bit of a sleeve or something on the shoulders would look better."

Ohhh-kay. "Well, it is strapless, so that's that. Hey, let's talk about the venue instead. What do you think of Napa? I always liked the idea of getting married at a winery."

"No. Too far."

"Uh..... Well, what about the Legion of Honor? That's very San Francisco, and our ceremony would overlook the Golden Gate Bridge. You took your wedding pictures at the Palace of Fine Arts. Wouldn't that be pretty?"

"I don't like outdoor weddings. The weather is unpredictable."

"But I think the pictures turn out nice with outdoor ceremonies. We can keep it quick and go inside for the reception."

"If all you think about is the pictures, then you're not being very thoughtful to your guests. A wedding should have deep feelings and be sincere. You can take pictures one week before, like we did. There are some very good Korean photographers who take beautiful shots, both outside and in a studio."

In a studio? Cheesy images popped into my mind of Taer popping out from behind a fake tree as I giddily laughed with my hand 'glamorously' perched under my chin. I shuddered at the thought. "Umma, we can have a meaningful wedding even if it's outside. And we'll take pictures the day of the wedding, before the ceremony. I don't want to have the wedding party get dressed twice, and that's how all my friends did it."

"If you are asking my opinion, then I'm going to tell you. If you want to just plan everything by yourself and just invite me to attend as a guest, then that's fine too. Ma-um de-ro heh. Do what you want."

Argh!

My mom ended up calling 10 minutes later to tell me that my dad thought the Legion of Honor was a good venue, which made her begin to see the merits of the choice.

My dad got on the phone, "Hi, honey. It's near Lincoln Park, right? With The Thinker? Yeah, it's very nice there. Your Mommy and I will go check it out together."

I love my mom tons, but sometimes I'm really thankful for my Daddy.

Monday, August 7

Six hours with Bride(zilla)s at Filene's Basement

I didn't know if a 5am arrival would ensure that I would find my dream wedding dress at the Running of the Brides; but I wasn't crazy enough to start my vigil at 4pm on Thursday - which is apparently what it took to be the first person in line. The doors opened at 8am on Friday: that's SIXTEEN hours (which I believe translates to more like 48 hours in Bridezilla time) of waiting!

Most of the brides-to-be were there with four of five family members and friends, with many of these "teams" outfitted in bright-colored matching shirts. I was planning to other battle the brides alone, but I ended up dragging along one friend, Janet, who I had gotten to know over the last four years of visiting Taer. The only thing Janet and I had matching that morning was our desire for coffee.

When the doors opened everyone did literally RUN inside to scoop up all the dresses they could. Janet and I were only able to grab four dresses before all the racks were completely bare. Many poor girls behind me forlornly cried, “I didn’t get any!”

I took my plunder and situated myself next to a mirror before I stripped down to my boy shorts and camisole, right there in the middle of the store. Scavengers hovered nearby, hunting down the unwanted dresses. But we were no dummies; we didn’t just give ours away. We bartered: “What do you have to trade?”

After almost three hours of bartering and trying on more dresses, interrupted by the occasional screams and applause of joy as brides found their “one,” I ended up with a pricessy ball-gowny Amsale satin dress. It wasn’t my dream dress, but it was the prettiest one we found. And it was cheap. All the dresses were $249, $499 or $699. I kept picking the most expensive of the choices, but that was still a bargain.

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I pictured something with more of a slim silhouette and maybe some lace detailing with buttons or something. I figured this one would be a good backup as I continued my hunt in bridal shops. I would’ve been happy walking down the aisle in this one.

Before leaving the store, we decided to take one last spin to check out what came back out on the racks. I was slipping out of another try-on when we spotted a gorgeous Monique Lhullier with a more simple A-line shape and just a touch of beautiful beading – definitely more along the lines of what I envisioned.

Then, OUT OF NOWHERE, this girl came along and snatched up my dress! I stood there, dumbfounded, with my mouth agape. Janet thought quickly and chased her down to ask if I could try it on before she left with it. When I slipped it on, I really felt like a beautiful bride; I was crestfallen that this other girl had it, but I was hoping since she was bigger than me that it would not fit her. When she tried, she couldn’t get the zipper all the way up… Victory was mine!

But the next thing I knew, she was walking around to find the alteration guy on hand to ask if he could let it out. She also started talking about how she was planning to lose weight before her wedding. I wanted to just tell her that the zipper was only halfway up, so it wasn’t going to fit even with all that, so “just hand it over now, bee-yotch!” But of course I played nice and patiently waited.

Janet even whispered to me, “It looked way better on you.” Well, maybe she said it louder than I thought because someone nearby who heard made the clawing action and said to us, “Me-YOW!” Whoops!

As I was waiting around for her decision, I was getting upset but trying to keep my cool. I didn’t want to be Bridezilla, but I wanted that dress! Janet checked the racks again for me while we were waiting. She came back with a dress in her hands, and she was excited! It looked a lot more like what I wanted. It had a lace top and a satin skirt with buttons down the back, and when I put it on… What everyone said was true: I just KNEW.

A light shone down on me from the heavens, and the angels sang a pefect song. Romona Keveza ended up being my designer, and she blessed me with THE dress for me.

Thursday, August 3

Running of the brides

If our families didn't come around, we were going to elope. Now that everyone's on the same page, we get to have a real-deal, white dress, people crying (my mother eyes, at the very least, will undoubtedly be quite wet), champagne toasting, dancing to 80's music, more-than-it-should-rightfully-cost wedding!

I told myself that I would NOT be a bridezilla. I want to keep things simple; and really, I do NOT want to spend too much on this singular day. Seriously! After all, I'm just happy to be with the love of my life.

But then I started calling wineries in Napa and other possible wedding sites in San Francisco. Man, they're expensive! Well, I guess if we really want to splurge a little on the location, that should be ok - right? We'll just keep budgets smaller for other things.

However, we don't want to skimp on our photographer either, do we? I mean, after all, we'll be looking back on the pictures forever. FOREVER is a very long time. We'll be showing them to our grandchildren: our grandchildren should be able to enjoy our wedding too, shouldn't they? Yes, they should. We'll have to cut expenses elsewhere.

OK, the dress. Lucky for our budget, I haven't been dreaming of my princess dress my entire life, and I'd be happy in just about anything that looks decent on me. But I will admit that I do love me a pretty, pretty dress...

That's why I'm planning to go to Filene's Basement's wedding gown event tomorrow morning! And, crazy me, I'm going at FIVE stinkin hurt me now o'clock in the morning. (I still consider that nighttime - ugh!) Wish me luck. If I get a $250 dress, I'll be saving us lots and LOTS of money! Yay!

(That means I can pay a visit to Jimmy or Manolo...)